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Poster: Studiofilm Date: Oct 19, 2009 3:41pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: US copyright law in UK

Thanks.
My extra research pointed me towards a legal rule which the US uses with the UK called the shorter term.

wikipedia quote below


The rule of the shorter term, also called the comparison of terms, is a provision in international copyright treaties. The provision allows that signatory countries can limit the duration of copyright they grant to foreign works under national treatment, to at most the copyright term granted to the work in the country of its creator's origin.

Basically it looks to me that if a movie that is out of copyright in the US then it is resonable to expect it to be out of copyright in the UK.

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Poster: FP Date: Oct 19, 2009 5:58pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: US copyright law in UK

Something to keep in mind is underlying rights. A movie itself may be PD, but the screenplay, or original story, may not be. You can usually sell copies of the PD film. You can usually show copies of the PD film. You can't necessarily adapt the story from that PD film. For details of a relevant scenario, GOOGLE the copyright status of [b]IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE[/b].

The same applies to music rights, celebrity likenesses, etc. A film may be PD, but aspects of that film may not safely be "broken out" and exploited separately.

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Poster: finnobrit Date: Oct 20, 2009 8:23am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: US copyright law in UK

"A movie itself may be PD, but the screenplay, or original story, may not be"

I don't think you can copyright stories can you? Names and designs perhaps, but not plots?

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Poster: skybandit Date: Oct 21, 2009 2:43am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: US copyright law in UK

Films are often based on a book or magazine story, which may be under copyright. I still have no idea why Last Man on Earth is PD, as the novel it was based on is copyrighted to this day.

This post was modified by skybandit on 2009-10-21 09:42:18

This post was modified by skybandit on 2009-10-21 09:43:17

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Poster: Studiofilm Date: Oct 20, 2009 1:47am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: US copyright law in UK

Yes that make lots of sense, thank you.
I would make detailed searches into individual works to check that every part were PD rather than be hit with royaties on the play the film was based on.
Otherwise my plan to make some fringe cinema seems to stand up well so far.
I don't have the money for an IP lawyer so this is very helpful.
cheers
jack